Hayden Conner’s commitment to the Texas Longhorns was one of the early cycle surprises in the 2021 recruiting class, as the three-star offensive lineman from Katy Taylor announced with the snap of his fingers that he would be taking his talents to Austin.
OL Hayden Conner is officially a Longhorn. Conner is 259th on the ESPN300. pic.twitter.com/kiGnk9gtpi— Longhorn Network (@LonghornNetwork) December 16, 2020
Conner has now officially put pen to paper and become a Longhorn on Early Signing Day, but early on he wasn’t widely viewed to end up in Austin.
At the time, Texas A&M was the speculated favorite for Conner’s commitment, but that all went by the wayside early one morning in the middle of July.
Conner at the time appeared to be a big building block for the Longhorn recruiting class to build off of given his connection to some of the state’s to- tier talent. Conner’s commitment was celebrated accordingly, as the Longhorns were in position to make a run at another elite recruiting class.
Conner has once again been the anchor at left tackle for Katy Taylor this year, as the Mustangs are in the latter stages of another playoff run. Taylor will take on Houston Heights next for a spot in the regional finals of the Texas 6A Division II bracket.
So with the ink drying on the National Letter of Intent, it is time to discuss where Conner fits in long term for the Longhorns. Previously, I had this to say about Conner after taking a look at his junior cut ups:
Conner is an absolute mountain of a man at 6’5.5 and 317 pounds. Conner’s physical measurables alone make him incredibly tough to get around and if that wasn’t enough he packs a mean punch and knows how to use it. Conner possesses very good play strength and it is often on display on tape when you see him tossing defenders five yards or putting them on skates before burying them into the turf. The entertainment value of Conner’s film is quite high and you can tell he enjoys tossing dudes out of the club and just being being a bully in general on the football field. Possessing that kind of demeanor is important when you play in the trenches, so it is good to see that Conner checks that box early and often on film. My main question for Conner when projecting him to the next level is if he will be able to stick at tackle long term. I think his body type has him heading towards the interior at the collegiate, but doesn’t at all diminish his value in my eyes.
After taking a look at Conner’s senior tape, my opinion of his long-term fit is holding pretty steady — I think his projection at the collegiate level will be along the interior offensive line, though I wouldn’t be surprised to see the coaches try to cross train him at tackle to see if he could work out there in a pinch.
Despite Texas’ struggles on the field this year, Conner’s commitment never wavered and he held steady to being a class leader and put his best foot forward on trying to recruit other players to the class. I think he will make a good long term ambassador for the program and will no doubt fit right in once he arrives on campus.
A consensus three-star prospect, Conner is ranked as the No. 389 player nationally and the No. 30 offensive tackle, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.